Allen Wellness & Medical Center

Treatment Options for Substance Use Disorder

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 In the last two decades, over 800,000 Americans have died from a drug overdose, and substance use disorder continues to lower the life expectancy of millions more. Substance use disorder is a medical problem like any other, and while there are still a lot of misconceptions about the illness itself, there is help for those trying to cope.

If you live in the Henderson, Nevada area and you’re trying to find help for substance use problems, Dr. Ethan Allen and his medical team at Allen Wellness & Medical Center are here to get you through this difficult time.

Defining substance use disorder

Substance use disorder is a lot more complicated than what we see in TV shows and films. At the heart of it is an unhealthy dependence on a substance despite the negative consequences it has on your life. This includes a range of substances, including prescription medications such as opioids, tobacco, sedatives, stimulants, hallucinogens, paint thinners, and glue.

The common factor in all substance use disorders is the uncontrollable need for the substance, affecting your decision-making and ability to function normally in your professional and personal environment.

Causes and symptoms

The addictive properties of this disorder stem from developing an abnormal connection with a substance through a pattern of occasional use that spirals out of control into dependence. This is caused by the substance’s effect on your brain chemistry, and can also be influenced by genetics, childhood trauma, and certain pre-existing conditions.

Common symptoms of substance use disorder include: 

  • Taking higher doses than prescribed 
  • Strong urges to have more of the substance
  • Inability to reduce how much you take
  • Problems with your normal responsibilities in school, work, or at home
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as sleeplessness and irritability

Over long periods, it can lead to confusion, neglecting your health, risky behavior, withdrawal from your loved ones, and hostility when confronted about problems with substance use.

Methods of treatment

The important thing to understand about treatment is there is no one size fits all solution for substance use disorder; it is as individual as the people struggling with the problem. 

Although most cases require a combination of approaches, the most common types of treatment are:


For many people struggling with getting free of addiction, this is an important first step. It consists of medically managing the withdrawal from substance use and can last for weeks or months. Dr. Allen can provide medical support to reduce your withdrawal symptoms. 

Inpatient rehabilitation

This is for people that need a more supervised and structured system of managing their recovery, which is also something that can last for weeks or months depending on what you’re recovering from. If necessary, Dr. Allen can refer you to appropriate inpatient programs. 

Outpatient rehabilitation

This is an option for people who need a less supervised approach or who need continued care after inpatient treatment. Dr. Allen can facilitate individual or group therapies as well as other outpatient programs to support you. 

Substance use disorder is difficult to cope with and affects millions. If you’re ready to treat this illness, we can help. Make an appointment with Dr. Allen and Allen Wellness & Medical Center today to start the road to rehabilitation.